Calhoun County 9-1-1

Local first responders, 911 Board and county officials come together to provide Calhoun County with Text-to-9-1-1 services. (Jared Van Epps/Wave photo)

County provides Text-to-9-1-1 services to citizens in case of an emergency

County 911 Emergency Communication District, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Calhoun County EMS, Port Lavaca Police Department, Port Lavaca Fire Department, and all volunteer agencies are pleased to announce the availability of Text-to-911 service in Calhoun County, effective Tuesday, October 1.

Text-to-911 is a service that allows citizens to send a text message directly to 9-1-1 dispatch for assistance in the event they are unable to make a voice call, according to a press release.

The release states that the user simply sends a text like one normally would. In the recipient field on your device, enter 911, compose the message and push send. Once the text is sent, the 9-1-1 system will send an automated message asking the individual who is texting for the address of the emergency. This starts the text session between 9-1-1 and the individual needing emergency help, according to the release.

The press release reminds individuals who use the service that the Text-to-911 services should only be used in an emergency when someone is unable to speak.

Examples include if the person is deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, or when speaking out loud would put the individual in danger. Text-to-911 also provides a silent alternative in cases such as child abduction, active shooter or domestic abuse.

When texting 9-1-1, you need to know your exact location and the nature of your emergency. Use simple language and no abbreviations or slang. The releases stress do not text and drive. Pull over to a safe location before sending a text to 9-1-1. If you are able, please call 9-1-1. It takes longer to get all the information when communicating through text messages.

If there is an emergency, and you are unable to make a voice call, remember:

-- Send your location and type of emergency

-- Use plain language and avoid abbreviations and slang

-- Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time

-- Do not include 9-1-1 as part of a group text

-- Only text 9-1-1 when you are unable to make a voice call

-- Do not text and drive

The Text-to-9-1-1 currently works with the four major wireless carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. If you are in an area where texting service is not available to 9-1-1, you will receive a “bounce back” message telling you to make a voice call.

If you would like more information about Text-to-9-1-1, please contact Raquel Morales at 361-552-5455 or e911@calhouncotx.org.

Voice calls are still the best and fastest way to get help.